Do analysts see social media as a research dimension?

I’ve been chatting over an interesting question with Aaron Koh, Social Media Consultant with Brandtology (and an alumnus of EastWest PR): do Analysts consider the social media space as another dimension for their research? For example, mentioned Aaron, “when I dealt with IDC for Enterprise IT clients, they spoke to vendors about the future of the technology. But what about getting the sentiment from the users?”

He raises an important question. Vendors and agencies that develop social media programmes want to ensure that they understand all the audiences which might be influenced by social media. Analyst relations professionals also want to understand how far they can use social media.

As Carter shows, there are less than 250 analysts on twitter, and fewer than 300 analyst blogs according to Barbara: there’s a big overlap between the two lists. Analysts whose work concerns social media are, of course, in that group.   Depending on how you define analysts, there are at least 4,000 and perhaps 6,000 analysts. So one analyst out of every one or two dozen is using those social media.

While firms like IDC have little contact with end-user clients, those analysts do meet thousands and analysts at events and through their research work. As a result, our judgement is that, at the moment, most analysts are not using social media as a research method.

Duncan Chapple

Duncan Chapple is the preeminent consultant on optimising international analyst relations and the value created by analyst firms. As the head of CCgroup's analyst relations team, Chapple directs programs that increase the value of relationships with industry analysts and sourcing advisors.

There are 2 comments on this post
  1. January 19, 2009, 12:35 am

    In general I think you’re correct, most analyst are not using social media and Web 2.0 tools to suport their research efforts. This is changing though and I’m seeing more of my peers and associates getting invovled in social media. There are several of us at IDC that are championing the use of these tools for research and for connecting with clients more effectively. You will notice, for example that Carter’s list of IDC analyst on Twitter has grown rapidly over the last couple of months. I brought Yammer into IDC a few months ago and now we’re up to over 250 analyst worldwide. We’re finding it extremely useful internally to facilitae discussions, exchanges of information / research, and generally providing more transparancy across research areas. I conducted a 1/2 day training session for all the analyst in my group in December on social media and personal branding. Times are changing, slower than I’d like at times, but we are making progress.

  2. February 11, 2009, 3:03 pm


    Some firms like mine (PAC) do use it to get qualitative insight for their studies. It is also completed by by end users phone surveys. So you get offer and demand views.